Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chapter 9, Verse 12

Chapter 9, Verse 12

"Their hopes and actions are vain.
Deluded by self-preoccupation,
Their knowledge is superficial.
Their lives are disastrously full of wrong doing."

Swami Shivananda:

They entertain vain hopes because all forms are perishable.  They behold externality only.  They know not that the Self dwells within the body and within everything else as well.  Their actions are vain because they are not performed as offerings to the higher power.

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

When you think that there is no more to life than physical objects and sensations, identifying completely with the body and denying that there is any unifying principle in life, everything that you do will be futile.  There will be no fulfillment.  That is the nature of the physical world.  Everything in it is limited.  Everything is fleeting.  This is not something that affects us alone.  Living on the surface of life will always induce a blindness about the welfare of the whole.

Consider those who think that by producing more and more and consuming more and more, we will eventually reach a place where all troubles will come to an end.  Those who go on producing indiscriminately for the sake of the almighty dollar and who continue to consume for the sake of pleasure will end in futility and frustration, because there will never be enough.  Many of our business enterprises and technological exploits, built upon an assumption of unlimited material growth going forward, will soon be forced to confront the fact the Earth's resources are finite and therefore limited.

A simple life is a joyful life.  A simple life is one that values human qualities, a life rich in lasting relationships with family, friends and community.  The more that we possess, the more we become possessed by possessions.  It is only after we begin to taste the joy of simple living that we come to realize that these accessories stand between us and our fulfillment.

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